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Sunday, February 5, 2012


Once again, Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department officials are spewing out incoherent numbers and expecting the public to choke them down.  The latest are the $457,000 in costs they claim have been spent to watch a couple dozen “Occupy Charlotte” protesters for the past 17 weeks, starting on October, 2010.

At the same time Captain Jeff Estes states there are no overtime funds involved, WSOC also quoted him stating "These are officers that have been reallocated from other duties that they would normally be performing.”
WSOC also reported Estes said the Department has worked to ensure that while officers have been stationed at the Occupy Charlotte protests, no neighborhoods have gone without protection or have seen a reduction in officers.

Estes' explanation that there has been no loss of services anywhere else, no overtime, and officers have only been on regular assignment, but this has cost us $457,000 makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. 

Back in October, CMPD previously said the Occupy protests had cost them almost $105,000, or an average of $1,700 per day.  Even then, this figure seemed grossly inflated. 

But now they’re saying they’ve input 11,000 work hours during the total 17 weeks of protests.  That would mean at least 4 people dedicated to nothing but this protest, working 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, for 17 weeks and paid at an average rate of $41.55 per hour, nonetheless.

With the total lack of raises our officers on the street have had in recent years, Rodney and company must have input a heavy number of those 11,000 hours to skew that hourly rate that high.

Still, comparing the $1,700 per day estimate given back in October would yield a total for those supposed 11,000 hours of $202,300.  How does he jump to the much more expensive $457,000 total? 

That’s a 2 ¼ increase in cost/hour… It goes up to $3825 average cost per day to watch a couple dozen kind of disheveled people who are immediately across from your main police station and monitored by closed circuit television. 

You might expect Monroe to get better at this as time went by instead of incurring greater costs with dwindling crowds.  What will he do for DNC2012?

The numbers don’t make sense.  They never do.

Someone needs to look around for the $457,000 budget shortfall there will no doubt be in another area.  Someone needs to take a good long look at all the CMPD finances.

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